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Annual French Film Festival Starts March 11 at LSUA

Released: 03/01/2011

The fifth annual Tournees French Film Festival at LSU Alexandria – featuring five nights of French cinema -- begins March 11, announced Dr. Shonu Nongia, festival coordinator and associate professor of languages. All shows, which feature English subtitles, are free and open to the public at 7 p.m. in the Science Building auditorium on campus.

The first film, “Paris,” is a drama described as “a love letter to the City of Light.” It presents characters from starkly different backgrounds providing a sense of the complexity of multitudes in one of the world’s most famous metropolises. The film is noted for its breathtaking views of Paris seen from the balcony of one of the central characters. “Paris” is rated R for language and some sexual references.

“Panique Au Village” (A Town Called Panic) will be shown March 12. The comedy, which is suitable for all ages, is a fantasia of 1,500 plastic-toy figures presented in stopmotion animation. The giddy and chaotically paced film features heroes Horse, Cowboy and Indian traveling to extreme locations to do good deeds and battle evil forces. The film is based on a cult-favorite TV show and is “seemingly inspired by the manic energy of the Marx brothers and early Warner Bros. cartoons.”

The “Barbe Bleue” (Blue Beard) will be seen March 26. Director Catherine Breillat, described as “perhaps the greatest feminist provocatrice working in cinema today,” merges a gruesome 1697 fairy tale with semiautobiographical scenes of two sisters in the 1950s who are fascinated by the ancient narrative. The film vacillates between the 17th and 20th centuries with piercing observations about sibling rivalry, sexual curiosity, purity and innocence, and the power of language and imagination.

“Cliente” (Client), a portrayal of the sexuality of a middle-aged woman, will be shown April 1. The romantic comedy, which is not suitable for children, combines feminism and farce and exposes sexual double standards. Two of the main characters are sisters, one of whom dreams of finding Mr. Right while the other prefers the no-strings attachment of paying gigolos for sex. The film is described as a “consistently funny adult look at the ways in which our needs for sex, love and money are continually negotiated.”

“Home,” the final film in the series, will be shown April 2. The drama investigates “the thin line between sanity and madness, the moments when family closeness becomes claustrophobia.” It is centered on a family living a blissful, almost private, cocooned existence before a newly constructed highway brings the public to its doorstep. What begins as a study of idiosyncratic domesticity shifts into a portrait of psychological horror and cautionary tale of environmental disaster.

The French Film Festival is supported by the French Ministry of Culture with sponsorship from the French Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs, The Centre National de la Cinematographie, the Florence Gould Foundation, the Grand Marnier Foundation, Highbrow Entertainment, the Arts Council of Central Louisiana, and the Department of Arts, English and Humanities at LSUA.